Nordstrom Interviews

Beauty Connections: Serge Normant

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If Hollywood handed out awards for best hair, Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker and Julianne Moore would need to prepare acceptance speeches. We imagine they’d first thank their parents for the genes that coded their luscious locks, then give all remaining credit to their mane man: hairstylist Serge Normant.

Born and raised outside of Paris, and a New York City resident since 1988, Serge is adored by all of his celebrity clients. Not only does he make them look like goddesses, they call him a trusted friend. After meeting the iconic stylist at a local appearance to promote his eagerly awaited Serge Normant Hair Care Collection, we quickly understood why. Warm, philosophical and suave in a très français (translate: authentic) kind of way, Serge charmed—and sometimes surprised—us with his ideas about beauty, style, success and serendipity…

American beauties or French belles?
There’s this perception that Europeans think American women are over the top with beauty, but actually we are fascinated by how American women pay attention to looking beautiful, to enhancing and celebrating the fact that they’re women. Sometimes French women go too far the other way, wearing absolutely no makeup or looking disheveled because they think it’s cool. What’s beautiful to me, whether you are French or American, is subtle glamour: taking care of yourself and making an effort to play with style. I think French actresses like Charlotte Gainsbourg and Marian Cotillard embody that effortless chic in the same way Julia and Sarah Jessica do.

Long hair or short?
Hair length is not a question of age—it’s about style, personality. I have a friend who’s 70, and she has had the same long hairstyle for 50 years. She should never cut her hair short—it just wouldn’t look like her. Look, I’ll admit it: I love working with a gorgeous, extravagant head of hair like Julia’s, but I’m not saying that a woman has to have long hair to be beautiful. What’s important is how a woman feels about her hair, not what society dictates she should look like. Hair is such a great accessory—you can make mistakes and it grows back! You have to have fun with your hair, to enjoy it. Fashion changes, taste changes, play with your hair.

Hair apparent: Serge styled Julia Roberts for the cover of his book Metamorphosis (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2004) and Sarah Jessica Parker for the Harper’s Bazaar September 2013 issue.
(Images courtesy of sergenormant.com)

Timing or talent?
Early on, I got introduced to the right people at the right time. I never forced anything; I never had a career plan—all I wanted was to do great work, to be part of a great team creating great moments, great photographs. Things just happened for me: I met Julia on the set of her first Vanity Fair shoot with Herb Ritts. I met Sarah Jessica on a shoot in Los Angeles. As a hairstylist, you’re in so many different intimate situations with your celebrity clients—you fly together, you eat together, you’re in a small room at 6am to get ready together. To sustain these relationships, you have to connect on a personal level.

Image or inspiration?
At the end of the day, I am a hairdresser, providing a service. When a client walks the red carpet, I don’t want her wearing ‘Serge Normant.’ She needs to be herself first, and my job is to enhance her. I am so inspired by women—I was inspired by my mom when I was growing up, and I’ve continued to be inspired by all the women I meet. The problem with being too focused on yourself is that whenever you do anything in the spotlight, you’re always judged. So I’m only as good as my last haircut, which keeps me grounded!


No bad hair days: Watch Serge work his magic using his incredible ‘Meta Revive’ Dry Shampoo.

Serge created his hair care line using products he has relied on for his entire career to create hair that looks luscious, healthy and gorgeous. Along with luxurious shampoos, conditioners, volumizers, styling and finishing products, Serge recently introduced ‘Avah’ Eau de Parfum, an exotic fragrance you can mist on your body and your hair. Shop our complete Serge Normant collection to add a little ‘Serge glamour’ to your life.

—Stefanie Frank

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Beauty Connections: Tata Harper

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Despite her bucolic life on a lush Vermont farm, skincare entrepreneur, beauty botanist, non-toxic purist, wife, and mom of three Tata Harper is not exactly the ‘mother earth’ type. “I’m healthy, but I’m not a hippie!” quipped the Colombian-born creator of her eponymous Tata Harper Skincare line during our recent chat. In fact, this no-nonsense advocate for chemical-free cosmetics is fiercely driven by a mission to help all women feel beautiful—in the most healthy, luxurious and effective way.

Refreshingly honest and open, Tata has a passionate perspective on beauty shaped by her South American childhood. “For Latina women, beauty is not a luxury, it’s a priority. And I’m not talking about vanity; it’s just that we celebrate the beauty of women and take care to look our best.” Tata spent Saturdays at her grandmother’s house, where, surrounded by aunts and cousins, she helped concoct skincare lotions and potions to play with and try out.

Tata Harper Skincare contains only all-natural ingredients cultivated on her farm in Vermont.

It was years later, when her stepfather was diagnosed with cancer and put on a strict non-toxic regimen, that Tata became aware of the amount of harmful chemicals that are not only ingested through eating unhealthy foods, but also absorbed through synthetic skincare products. She began searching for beauty products that were 100% chemical-free—and truly worked—and when she found none, decided to create some herself. She teamed up with a panel of chemists and travelled the globe to find the most effective, pure bioactive ingredients—natural skincare powerhouses like muscle-relaxing Spanish lavender extract, anti-oxidizing date palm extract from France and skin-renewing Madonna lily stem cells from Israel. Then, on her farm, she and her team cultivated, packaged and began selling her completely unique line of cleansers, serums, hydrators, moisturizers and aromatherapy treatments.

Tata loves connecting with women about beauty.

“My mission was to help women be their most beautiful in the healthiest way,” says Tata. “Starting out, the biggest challenge for me was convincing customers and retailers that an all-natural product could be just as effective as a chemical product. My line is just as technologically advanced, but it’s natural science, not synthetic science. Once people started trying the products and seeing how well they worked, the response was amazing and overwhelming. My customers are savvy, intelligent women who want to invest in taking care of themselves.”

Tata’s line has quickly become a cult classic coveted by celebrities and skincare enthusiasts around the world. (Her top-selling Rejuvenating Serum is frequently referred to as ‘life-changing,’ and her new Boosted Contouring Serum, with added ingredients to firm and tone skin, is already generating serious beauty buzz.) Tata’s healthy outlook is definitely catching on.

Tata Harper Skincare is now available at Nordstrom (online and at selected Spa Nordstrom locations).

—Stefanie Frank

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